Sometimes it’s worth getting to know your neighbours. Talk often turned to homewares when the Melbourne-based founders of Marmoset Found, Nareen Holloway and Cherie Slater, got together. “Cherie and I both felt that we were seeing the same products in every homewares store we visited and felt there was a need for more bespoke, unique products,” says Nareen, pictured left.

About five years ago the friends decided to launch Marmoset Found, focussing on handmade wares. Exhibiting at their first trade show - Life Instyle - gave them a huge boost of confidence, as well tripling their orders. “We were absolutely swamped on opening day of our first fair,” Nareen says. Initially the duo sourced products but now they spend most of their time developing their own homewares, releasing them twice a year - in February and August. Their range is made by small family-run operations in Thailand, Vietnam, The Pacific Islands, India and the Philippines.

Marmoset Found will be showing for fifth time at the upcoming Life Instyle event in Sydney. “We especially love the Sydney fair as we don't get to catch up with our NSW or Queensland stockists throughout the year like we do with our Victorian stockists,” Nareen says. This year the designers will release their biggest range of new products, which includes new shapes and colours in the Cloud range, handwoven natural fibre baskets, wire bowls and a larger size and shape of its popular spiral weave light pendants. “We have had a lot of new products in the pipeline, which we are now ready to show,” Nareen says.

Register now to attend the upcoming Life Instyle Sydney show. The trade event runs 18-21 February at the Royal Hall of Industries and Hordern Pavilion.

This post was sponsored by Life Instyle, an event I have attended many times over the years. All editorial content was produced independently. Thank you for supporting businesses that help to make Daily Imprint possible. - NW.

Which five words best describe you? Friendly, organised, creative, adventurous, spontaneous.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started out managing and buying for several international retail stores. Although I had a sound knowledge of the retail industry, designing and manufacturing my own product range was new to me. I spent over a year of research before starting Marmoset Found with Cherie and really every day since has been a huge on-the-job learning curve.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Sometimes it takes a while for your plans to come to fruition so be patient.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Our very first Life Instyle where we had such amazing feedback on our first range and tripled our business overnight.

What’s been your best decision? To have faith in our design philosophy and design our own products from scratch.

Who inspires you? My friend and business partner Cherie is a constant source of inspiration - we are constantly bouncing ideas off one another.

What are you passionate about? Quality and attention to detail - it can be applied to almost everything. Design, food, architecture, fashion…

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Frida Kahlo.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would love to take an “inspiration” trip to Denmark and Sweden - maybe next year - fingers crossed.

What are you reading? I have just finished Freakonomics by Steven D Levitt - it’s an interesting read by a rogue economist about the riddles of everyday life.

images courtesy of marmoset found; photography armelle habib, styling julia green at greenhouse interiors